Once the match against Club Atlético de Madrid ended, RCD Espanyol formally requested the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) for the image or sequence that would provide the evidence for the second goal for Atlético de Madrid, in a decision made by the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) as a correction to the decision made by the on-field referee. Let us remember that, as the rules themselves establishe, to change an on-field refereeing decision from VAR, there must be a conclusive and unappealable image for it.
This afternoon we received a response from the person in charge of the VAR project, Mr. Carlos Clos Gómez, in which he informs us that based on the current regulations it is not possible for them to provide us with images or conversations regarding the decisions made in the VAR room, confirming, however, that the image used to overrule the referee's decision and give Atlético's second goal was the one shown on television, the angle known as the 'spider cam'.
Based on the above, RCD Espanyol would like to state that:
1. The only image used to award the goal offers a perspective from which it is impossible to determine if the ball has gone in or not. Furthermore, all of the Club’s own analysis and that of third parties to which we have had access, would demonstrate, on the contrary, that the ball did not cross the goal line at any point in its entirety.
2. That this way of proceeding violates the VAR protocol, since it corrects a refereeing decision without having single conclusive evidence for it. Therefore, there is an adulteration of the match and a clear negligence in the application of the rules and in the use of the available technology, resulting in irreparable damage to our Club in the result of yesterday's match and, therefore, in our situation in the table.
3. Additionally, we believe that this week a precedent has been established that sets a new paradigm in the administration of sports justice in Spanish football, as the Competition Committee intervenes in decisions previously arbitrated on the field and in the VAR. After the Valencia CF - Real Madrid match, the said Committee understood that in an action of that match the use of technology and available images by the VAR referees "was totally partial, biased and decisive for the referee's error in the evaluation of what happened”. Derived from all of the above, it was decided to withdraw a red card shown to a player.
This new paradigm should have been used, in our opinion, in the case at hand, and should also have been applied by the Committee, among other examples, in the match we played on matchday 33 at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán against Sevilla FC, in which validity was granted to Sevilla’s first goal in an action preceded by a foul on our player Brian Oliván, not showing the field referee a shot (available) from the VAR in which the foul was clear.
4. Due to all of the above, RCD Espanyol considers its rights violated, feeling seriously harmed, for which reason we will proceed, consequently, to challenge the match played yesterday and request, therefore, that an agreement be made to nullify it. Likewise, RCD Espanyol, in defence of its legitimate interests, is studying possible additional legal actions for the possible patrimonial damage derived from this action. It is extremely important to mention that we do not intend to denounce the existence of a human arbitration error, inherent to the very nature of sport. What RCD Espanyol denounces before the RFEF Competition Committee is the existence of gross negligence on the part of the arbitration group designated for the aforementioned match and, specifically, by the VAR referees designated by the RFEF, of which At the same time, a clear and flagrant material error arises, generating irreparable damage to RCD Espanyol, both with sporting and potentially financial consequences.
We understand that it is incompatible to boast of the highest standards and witness a "partial and biased" use of clearly insufficient technology. Aspiring to have the best competition in the world requires facts as well as good intentions.